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Kazakhstan Cracks Down on E-Cigarettes: The Puff Stops Here


Kazakhstan has taken a bold step to curb the rising tide of e-cigarette use with the introduction of a new law that makes the sale, distribution, and import of these nicotine-delivery gadgets illegal. Effective from June 20, the law puts the country in the frontline of nations taking a hard stance against vaping, reflecting a growing global trend. But don’t worry, puff enthusiasts; you’re not in the line of fire just yet – unless you decide to sell or share your stash.

The New Law: Puff, Don’t Pass

In a bid to tackle the public health concerns associated with e-cigarettes, Kazakhstan has rolled out a revised health law and a corresponding amendment to its criminal code. The central piece of this legal puzzle is Article 301-1 of the Criminal Law, succinctly titled “Circulation of non-smoking tobacco products, electronic consumer systems (electronic cigarettes), flavors and their liquids.”

So, what’s the deal? Well, if you’re caught selling or distributing e-cigarettes, you could face a fine of up to 200 MRP – that’s a whopping 738,400 tenge in 2024, which translates to roughly RMB 11,621. If your pockets aren’t deep enough to pay the fine, you might find yourself doing up to 200 hours of community service or spending up to 50 days behind bars. It’s safe to say that Kazakhstan is blowing some serious smoke when it comes to enforcement.

Import and Production: No Puffs Allowed

The law doesn’t stop at just sales and distribution. The import and production of e-cigarettes are also strictly prohibited. According to the revised criminal code, those caught in the act could be slapped with a fine of up to 2,000 MRP – that’s a staggering 7.3 million tenge in 2024. And if fines aren’t daunting enough, there’s the option of up to 600 hours of community service or even a two-year restriction or deprivation of freedom.

The message is clear: Kazakhstan wants to nip this habit in the bud. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur thinking of importing e-cigarettes or a local manufacturer planning to roll out the next big vape, think twice. The legal ramifications are no puff piece; they’re designed to ensure that the production pipeline is thoroughly cut off.

High-Stakes Game: When Puffing Pays Big

What happens if you’re not just a small-time player but part of a criminal gang, and your vape business is raking in the big bucks? Kazakhstan’s legal eagles have thought of that too. If you’re caught engaging in these activities repeatedly, particularly with substantial profits, the penalties skyrocket.

You could be looking at a fine of up to 5,000 MRP – that’s a mind-blowing 18.4 million tenge in 2024. Alternatively, the court might sentence you to up to 1,200 hours of community service or even restrict or deprive you of your liberty for up to five years. The law’s stringent approach underscores its intention to dismantle any organized efforts to undermine public health through e-cigarette distribution.

Distribution Defined: Sharing Isn’t Caring

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan has gone the extra mile to define what “distribution” means in the context of this law. According to their explanation, “Distribution means passing on e-cigarettes to other people. Distribution will be criminally liable regardless of whether there is material or other benefits.”

In plain terms, this means that even if you’re just handing out e-cigarettes to your buddies without making a single tenge, you’re still breaking the law. The crackdown is not just on commercial transactions but on any form of passing around these products. It’s the ultimate “no sharing” policy – consider it a hard pass on the puff-puff-give culture.

Vaping in Prohibited Places: Don’t Be a Rebel

Kazakhstan’s war on e-cigarettes doesn’t stop at sales and distribution. The law also targets vaping in places where smoking is already banned. If you’re caught indulging in a sneaky vape where you shouldn’t, expect a fine of 3 MRP – that’s 11,076 tenge in 2024.

The legislation is crystal clear: whether it’s traditional smoking or the modern vape, the penalties are the same. So, if you’re thinking of sneaking a quick vape in a no-smoking zone, think again. The fines are designed to deter even the most rebellious vapers from flaunting the rules.


Kazakhstan’s stringent new laws on e-cigarettes mark a significant shift in the country’s public health policy. By targeting the sale, distribution, import, and production of these products, the government aims to curb their availability and, consequently, their use. While vaping itself isn’t criminalized, the framework ensures that getting your hands on an e-cigarette is more trouble than it’s worth.

So, if you’re in Kazakhstan and thinking of indulging in a vape, it might be time to rethink your habits. After all, with the hefty fines and potential jail time, that last puff could indeed be your last.


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